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What Does Your Signage Say About You and Your Brand?

By Cory Thomas
August 26, 2022

 

Have you ever passed by a storefront because you didn’t see the sign? Or walked into a shop just because the signage caught your eye? Chances are you’ve done both. A 2021 study of 1,000 consumers found that 66% have had an unfavorable opinion of a business because of signage, and nearly 79% thought that signage reflects the quality of a business and the product or service offered.

 

Your brand is more than your business name. It's also your reputation or how consumers perceive your company. So, your signs must protect your brand image by accurately and positively representing it through the materials used, size and shape, location, function, and messaging. You've got one chance to make that first impression with consumers so every building sign, street sign, or monument sign should be a reflection of your brand. Make sure it's reflecting the image you want.

 

What can you do to amplify your brand through your signage and displays? Here are some interesting branding opportunities to consider.

 

Materials and Textures

The impression you make can vary based on the materials you choose for your brand’s signage. For example, a wooden sign has a more earthy vibe than a metal sign. Or, a shiny surface is more modern than a matte surface. Neon signs are funkier than unlit signs. Before you start a signage project, ask yourself to name a material or a texture that "feels" like your brand. Are you using that material or texture in your signs and displays?

 

If sustainability is important to your company, using eco-friendly materials accurately reflects your mission. If bright colors or metal textures are part of your branding, those are perfect materials for your signage. See how each of the examples below communicate their brand through their signage graphics.

 

cortland_multifamily_signage_leddesksign

 

Other factors to consider when selecting signage materials are functionality and cost. Your marketing partner can help you find acceptable alternatives that are still brand-right. For example, our client UnTuckit needed a flexible solution for its store graphics that was also cost-effective. Our experts suggested Visual Magnetics - a magnetic material that is easy to install and quickly change - and it worked perfectly.

 

More Than Functional

While functionality is always essential in a sign, most signs have a dual purpose. Using temporary signage strategically can help you build your brand in locations you may not have considered as a branding opportunity.

 

For example, where can you place or install a sign that might communicate your brand to a specific audience or for a particular event? For new construction, consider wrapping the construction fencing with a "Coming Soon" message or hang a multi-story mesh banner from the building itself to grab attention. A-frame signs or window clings are great ways to promote your brand to foot traffic in a mall or neighborhood.

 

Interior Branding Opportunities

Companies that understand the importance of branding are investing more in environmental graphics to communicate the brand to internal and external stakeholders. By doing this, businesses hope to create a culture of brand loyalty. These graphics often share the brand's mission or values.

 

Here's a terrific example of branded environmental graphics from one of our clients, Crocs. At their headquarters in Denver, Colorado, they wanted to create a work environment that reflected their brand personality. So, we worked with them to create bold and playful graphics using unique materials and textures, including actual grass on a wall in the employee break room!

 

 

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When it comes to environmental graphic materials, the sky's the limit. If your brand is unconventional, go unconventional in your materials. Choose a material (like grass) you've never seen before in an office or business setting to create an unforgettable first impression.

 

Here's another great example of unconventional materials in a lobby display we created for one of our clients. Our client's offices are close to the MLB stadium so we custom fabricated this piece for them, using baseball bats as the canvas for the city skyline.

 

Cortland Bats

 

As you can see, creating an atmosphere that builds engagement with branded environmental signage can be impactful in common or public areas. Hospitals use this tactic often in children's wards to make the environment more inviting or in lobbies to thank supporters.

 

Multi-family developers install inspirational graphics in fitness centers like this one to highlight their amenities and make their property more desirable. Wouldn’t you feel inspired to work out here?

 

Waterton ARC - Fitness Wall 1.A

 

To create even more brand engagement in a common area, use branded murals, displays, and signage to create a selfie station like this one. Now that's memorable!

 

Chateau Elan wine bottle

 

Even wayfinding and ADA signage, which have a very clear function, can be branded. Wayfinding signage help people find their way to a desired destination. You'll see these signs in hospitals, office buildings, shopping centers, conference centers, and outdoor locations like parks and parking garages. These signs should give clear directions to easily get visitors from point to point. If they do, that's a positive reflection of your brand. However, wayfinding signs can also reinforce your brand through aesthetics and messaging. At the very least, they should look and feel like all of your other branded signs.

 

ADA-compliant signage is another fabulous opportunity to communicate your brand. Most businesses are required to have signage that is ADA-compliant. While it may be easier to purchase mass-produced signs available anywhere, why not create branded signs? Function and purpose all in one.

Screen Shot 2022-08-25 at 3.55.44 PM

 

Location, Location, Location

Sometimes you can use signage location to your advantage. A permanent sign that is very visible in a busy intersection is a critical branding opportunity. Make sure your sign is clear, eye-catching, and brand-right.

 

Also, unusual or exciting displays in your front window or near a front door can not only inspire sales but also build brand engagement. Our in-house creative team is an expert at creating "wow" moments like the ones below to draw in shoppers.

 

Fossil

 

Your business utilizes permanent and temporary signage to promote your locations and products or services. But your business signs and displays are much more than a promotional tactic. They are also a representation of your brand. Think of every business sign and display you create as an opportunity to build brand awareness and increase brand loyalty. Our brand experts at Phase 3 can help you optimize your signage efforts.

 

Phase 3 offers complete printing and finishing services in our Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, and Fairfield, NJ production facilities. Thanks to these strategic locations, we can provide the capacity and geographic reach to create just what you need, at any size or quantity, on time and brand. Call us today for more information.